From the Deacon's Desk: Why Do We Do What We Do?


Why do we do what we do? What makes Martin Saints Classical High School tick? Here's a snippet from Deacon Roberts' homily from the first day of school on Tuesday, September 3. Mass was said before students and faculty members left for our annual camp and canoe trip.

"Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus taught them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching. Faculty, you have a noble profession. What teachers do makes you an icon of Christ. Thank you – thank you – for your many sacrifices, all for the sake of teaching our students.

In today’s Gospel, teaching puts Jesus in conflict with a demon. Friends, our teaching in this school is also a confrontation with demons and with evil. The world in our lifetimes is a strange place. Many in our culture are lonely, afraid, weary, hopeless, resentful, and confused. In these circumstances, counterfeit consolations – selfishness, vulgar materialism, belief systems that twist the truth in order to vent our anger – these things can be temptations for any of us.

But: in teaching the classics – by committing ourselves to what is good, true, and beautiful – we confront and rebuke the modern day demons. Jesus taught with authority, and our curriculum has authority, and each one of us shares in that authority. When Christ is dwelling in us, when we are faithful in our prayers, when we’re open to the Word, when we’re faithful with the sacraments – we carry Christ’s authority. What we’re building here in this parish and in this school rebukes demons.

And it gets even better than that: by Christ’s authority, not only do we say “no” to what is evil, we say “yes” to what is good. Some of us are about to go on a canoe trip. We’re going to paddle and swim. We’re going to camp under the stars. We’re going to cook and sing around a campfire. And we’re going on this adventure, starting with this Mass, because God is good. His authority compels us to say “yes” to creation, “yes” to each other’s company, “yes” to good food and song, “yes” to gift of being fully alive in this time and in this land.

So today, as we continue with our celebration of the Eucharist, let’s give thanks for the presence of Jesus Christ among us. Let’s put ourselves under his authority. Let’s give thanks that he helps us rebuke what is evil, and, even better, that his grace is working through all that is good, true, and beautiful, taking us ever deeper into communion with Him and each other."